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Teardown of HTC ThunderBolt points to higher cost of LTE enabled Apple iPhone

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Teardown of HTC ThunderBolt points to higher cost of LTE enabled Apple iPhone
IHS iSuppli did its usual thing with the HTC ThunderBolt, dissecting the device and calculating what the cost is of all of the smatphone's parts. The analysis shows that the smartphone is made up of $262 worth of parts making it the costliest cell phone ever to build, based on parts alone. The $262 figure is comparable to the cost of some tablets and is higher than the $171.35 worth of parts in Verizon's version of the Apple iPhone 4.

The most expensive part of the HTC ThunderBolt is its Qualcomm MDM9600 4G LTE baseband chip. That piece of detective work leads iSuppli to compute that an LTE version of the Apple iPhone would cost 23% more to build ($211.10) than the current 3G model, assuming that Apple uses the same first-gen LTE parts that are in the T-Bolt. Wayne Lam, a senior analyst at IHS said that Apple would need to increase the size of the printed circuit board inside the iPhone in order to support the LTE baseband processor and the accompanying chipset. This dovetails perfectly with comments made by Apple COO Tim Cook who stated that Apple did not make the current version of its handset LTE enabled because it would have required a whole redesign of the slim model, which would have added some heft to it.

source: IHS iSuppli via PCMag

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posted on 10 Jul 2011, 12:03 2

1. bigmoney (unregistered)

I DONT CARE NOTHIN ABOUT THIS just release the androind 2.3 upgrade smh

posted on 10 Jul 2011, 12:27 3

3. spectre1006 (Posts: 54; Member since: 27 Apr 2011)


Grammar police! U used a double negative!

*writes ticket*

*speeds off*

posted on 11 Jul 2011, 09:25

13. AndroidTroll (Posts: 359; Member since: 05 Mar 2011)

Justice was served. Love it!

posted on 10 Jul 2011, 12:18 1

2. DICKINMOUTH (unregistered)

You obviously care if you're commenting on this..

posted on 10 Jul 2011, 12:37

4. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

Another reason why Apple doesn't go first with new technology. Apple is about making money. Invariably first generation anything costs the most and has the largest footprint (not to mention teething problems in the roll-out).

Which is why I don't see LTE in the next edition (4S?) iPhone that is slated for the September, 2011 timeframe. 2012 is much more likely for an LTE iPhone.

posted on 10 Jul 2011, 13:02 1

6. ilia1986 (unregistered)

Really? Apple never goes first with new technology? What about USB? what about Thunderbolt? What about the CD-Rom? What about Wifi?

posted on 10 Jul 2011, 14:12 1

7. stealthd (unregistered)

The cost is especially not worth it considering how not-widely available LTE is yet.

But saying Apple is about making money is almost redundent. HTC is about making money. Google is about making money. All of these companies exist solely to make money. They're all equally greedy, they just aren't all equally successful.

posted on 11 Jul 2011, 19:52

16. Paden (Posts: 262; Member since: 07 Jul 2011)

Exactly. Once 4G technology is more available and developed I'm sure Apple will follow suit.

posted on 10 Jul 2011, 12:39

5. JayRaj28 (unregistered)

What's iPhonee guys?? :D :P

posted on 10 Jul 2011, 14:15

8. stealthd (unregistered)

Apple's actually in a unique position in that they could effectively subsidize their hardware themselves using money made from the App Store. HTC doesn't get any money out of the Android Market, and the Market is devoid of premium content to begin with (although there is a fair amount of ad revenue). Apple can definitely afford to put LTE in their phone, I just think they probably won't due to heat and power consumption concerns.

posted on 10 Jul 2011, 16:11

9. iHateCrapple (Posts: 734; Member since: 12 Feb 2010)

Well they have sort of a leg-up in the battery department as it's built in, but yea, LTE is a power hog from what I see.

I don't think it's a matter of Apple being able to afford it; we all know they can. The real question is; does Apple want this technology in their products yet? Apple wants everything to work as perfectly as possible for the end user. With that being said, Is VZW's LTE ready for primetime? It's stopped working what 2 or 3 times now? And ATT doesn't have LTE yet, just faster 3G (supposedly). Apple may not want to release an LTE phone until the coverage is better and more reliable.

posted on 10 Jul 2011, 17:03

10. willywill_evo (Posts: 162; Member since: 05 Jan 2011)

this is the s**t that get me mad...its the most expensive phone and yet its full of issue, WTF verizon and htc fix the god danm phone already...instead of f**king taking care of the f**king problem they filling it up with more bloatware...this is just f**king ridiculous it been like this for 3 months and they dont do nothing about it..and no i dont want to root the phone untill GB get here

posted on 10 Jul 2011, 19:22

11. skymitch89 (Posts: 1361; Member since: 05 Nov 2010)

That would just go along with one of the rumors of an iPhone with bigger screen. A larger screen would mean a lager shell, and a larger shell would mean more room inside for more parts.

posted on 11 Jul 2011, 11:10 2

14. Ralston1983 (Posts: 70; Member since: 03 Feb 2011)

I really don't see why people cry and complain about the growing pains of new tech. The Thunderbolt is America's first mainstream LTE phone, of course they're going to be bugs and it's going to take time to fix. So just sit tight and deal with it. If you don't like it, don't early adapt,

posted on 11 Jul 2011, 15:03

15. justanother (unregistered)

First off, why are we calling the T-Bolt's 4G chip defective? Uh, I have one and the 4G works great. Yeah, you will drain the battery if you use it for hours straight (which I've never had the need or inclination to do) but so what? After this latest update, the phone works perfectly (if you can live without Gingerbread for the moment,which won't make a difference anyway).

Just watch, Apple will have an LTE iPhone before you know it.

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